Classification of Manifest Huntington Disease Using Vowel Distortion Measures

Amrit Romana, John Bandon, Noelle Carlozzi, Angela Roberts, Emily Mower Provost


Huntington disease (HD) is a fatal autosomal dominant neurocognitive disorder that causes cognitive disturbances, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and impaired motor abilities (e.g., gait, speech, voice). Due to its progressive nature, HD treatment requires ongoing clinical monitoring of symptoms. Individuals with the Huntington gene mutation, which causes HD, may exhibit a range of speech symptoms as they progress from premanifest to manifest HD. Speech-based passive monitoring has the potential to augment clinical information by more continuously tracking manifestation symptoms. Differentiating between premanifest and manifest HD is an important yet understudied problem, as this distinction marks the need for increased treatment. In this work we present the first demonstration of how changes in speech can be measured to differentiate between premanifest and manifest HD. To do so, we focus on one speech symptom of HD: distorted vowels. We introduce a set of Filtered Vowel Distortion Measures (FVDM) which we extract from read speech. We show that FVDM, coupled with features from existing literature, can differentiate between premanifest and manifest HD with 80% accuracy.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2020-2724

Cite as: Romana, A., Bandon, J., Carlozzi, N., Roberts, A., Provost, E.M. (2020) Classification of Manifest Huntington Disease Using Vowel Distortion Measures. Proc. Interspeech 2020, 4966-4970, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2020-2724.


@inproceedings{Romana2020,
  author={Amrit Romana and John Bandon and Noelle Carlozzi and Angela Roberts and Emily Mower Provost},
  title={{Classification of Manifest Huntington Disease Using Vowel Distortion Measures}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2020},
  pages={4966--4970},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2020-2724},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2020-2724}
}